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poraries for a work and better qualified than the rest of the Indian scholars,
because he is unbiased and disinterested.

«o /Wa., p. 334.



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300 THE AMERICAN JOURNAL OP THEOLOGY

The most generous patron of the Hibhert Lectures was a woman, the
Maharani Shumomoye (Cassimbazar). But for the i,ooo rupees that she
gave, the Bengali translation would never have appeared. As regards
the Tamil translation, destined for the lettered public of southern India, it
proved unlucky. Mr. Malabari had offered the dedication to Max Miiller's
friend, the same maharajah of Vizianagaram, who had given 4,000 pounds
for the printing of the second edition of the Rig-Veda, and he had received
from him a flattering answer when the maharajah died suddenly. A
very interesting personality, that maharajah! a Maecenas more of a
sportsman than a scholar. However, like many Indians belonging to the
higher classes, he had a great respect for religious science, and considered
it a pious duty to propagate it. The help of the late maharajah's family
was vainly asked for; no answer ever came.

The fate of these editions was totally different, according to the
regions. If I am not mistaken, no south Indian pandU, shdstri, or patron
of literature has taken the Tamil edition off the editor's hands. The Ben-
gali edition, done admirably by Mr. Gupta, was the one that Max Mtiller
preferred, because he could read it. It was given away free; not a single
copy was purchased. The marathi edition, due to Mr. G. W. Kanitkar,
and the Hindi one, to Munshi Jawalaprasad, went off well. It was the
same thing in the case of the guzarati edition.

Max Miiller was highly gratified to see the popularization of his lec-
tures accomplished in India by such a devoted interpreter. The expres-
sion of his feelings is to be foimd in many letters to Mr. Malabari. As
early as March, 1879, he wrote:

These lectures were chiefly written for India. What I wished to do was to
show you how much and how little you possess in your own andent religion.
There is a large accumulation of mere rubbish in your religious system! That
you know as well as I do, and to an enlightened mind such as yours there can
be no offense in my saying this; but beneath that rubbish there are germs. Do

not throw those germs away with the rubbish If you could tell your

countrymen something of what I have written in these lectures, it might bear
some good fruit.

And again in September, 1881:

I am deeply interested in the effect which my Hibhert Lectures will produce
in India. When writing them I was often thinking of my friends in your country

more than of my audience at Westminster I wanted to tell (February,

1882) those few at least whom I might hof)e to reach in English, what the true
historical value of their ancient religion is, as looked upon, not from exclusively
European or Christian, but from a historical point of view. I wished to warn



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CRITICAL NOTES 301

against two dangers: that of undervaluing or despising the ancient national
religion, as is done too often by your half-Europeanized youths; and that of over-
valuing it, and interpreting it as it was never meant to be interpreted, of which
you may see a painful instance in Day&nanda Sarasvatt's labors on the Veda,
Accept the Veda as an ancient historical account, containing thoughts in accord-
ance with the character of an ancient and simple-minded race of men, and you
will be able to admire it, and to retain some of it — ^particularly the teachings of
the UpanishadSy even in these modem days. But discover in it steam engines
and electricity, and European philosophy and morality, and you deprive it of its
true character, you destroy its real value, and you break the historical continuity
that ou^t to bind the present to the past. Accept the past as a reality, study it
and try to understand it, and you will then have less difficulty in finding the ri^t
way toward the future.

Were the results in proportion to the tremendous effort it required ?
"This project of vernacular translations has, on the whole, ended poorly,
like most projects in India. In a word, it was premature," sajrs Mr.
Malabari." I am inclined to think that there is a great deal of exaggera-
tion in this statement; but we westerners are not able to form an opinion.
We had better appeal to a most competent authority, the late lamented
Protap Chunder Mozoomdar. No one could judge as well of the real
benefit caused by the entering of such a man as Max Miiller on the scene
of Indian civilization. At the very moment of the publication of the
Hibbert Lectures he had written about them in the Theistic Quarterly
Review of Calcutta,, an English paper intended for a limited circle, the
little religious sect of the Brahmos. Now, after twenty years, he remem-
bers the time when English-educated Indians, in Bengal at leasts felt a
most impatriotic contempt for the classics of their own country; then he
registers the reaction that ensued and the widespread Hindu revivals of
the two last years.

Whose words, whose works, whose influence are chiefly accountable for this
national awakening, extravagant as, like oriental movements, it shows itself
sometimes ? It is surely the genius that planned the publication of the Sacred
Books of the East, that primarily gave the impulse, and brought back the blurred
religious consciousness of the Hindu to himself. Max Milller's celebrated
Hibbert Lectures, translated into the vernaculars of this country, did a service
in this respect that can never be forgotten. Ancient Indians search for the infi-
nite, the prevailing feature of all her mystic inspiration, whether in the domain
of nature or of the soul, the progress and success of that search as embodied in
what is best in our Scriptures, revealed the Hindu spirit to the Hindu and struck
a li^t where all was dark before."

" Loc. cU^ p. 338.

" "Professor Max Mailer's Relations to India," East and West, November, 1901,
P-93-



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302 THE AMERICAN JOURNAL OP THEOLOGY

That short quotation teaches us two things: first, that "the Hibhert
Lectures had brought back the blurred consciousness of the Hindu to
itself" — a result which has to be ascribed to the admirable pages on the
perception of the infinite in which is contained the best refutation of the
agnostic tendencies of the young anglicized Indians; then, that "they
have revealed the Hindu spirit to the Hindu. " Here the circle is widened,
and from the small group of students able to understand our western
philosophy, the lectures appeal to the pandits^ the householders, the
satmyastn who, on the banks of a sacred river, in either a large town or
a small village, even in the mountain jungle, find in them the apotheosis
of their old religious faith, their own dissertations "modernized and spirit-
ualized," as was said at the meeting of Jeypur. "Could the most
apathic son of India long remain indifferent to the glorification by such a
genius of his country's past?" exclaims Mr. Malabari, inflamed by the
sublime pages in honor of the visions of the Rishis, the Indian philosophy,
and the heights scaled by the poet-seers of the Vedic period.

Our scholars, whose criterion is of course different from that of the
Indian shastriSy have often failed in the explanation of obscure passages
of the Scriptures — ^passages probably reserved to the skill of the indigenous
talent and the hereditary inquirer after truth. Why so ?

To us Indo-Aryas [Mr. Malabari continues], it is the truth that is supreme
law, the universal existence, the face behind the veil, the reality beyond the illu-
sion. The Aryan mind does not desi»se this illusion (not delusion, as western
interpreters call it), this phenomenon, this enveloping, overshadowing adjunct
of the true and the real.

Max MUUer has beautifully understood that phenomenon, and through
his constant association with the ideals of the East, and the musings, and
reveries that this association must suggest, he has succeeded in obtaining
"that genuine ring" which had sounded "exceeding sweet " to the delighted
ear of his enthusiastic translator.

Mr. Malabari is far from regretting the time and strength given to the
scheme. It helped him materially, he says, for one thing — to study the
condition of the country as a whole, its wants and requirements, its merits
as well as its defects. It also brought him in contact with some master-
minds of the day, securing

the subtle soul-union which recognizes no difference of race, sex, or rank, and
which neither distance nor death itself can dissolve. Such was the friendship

with Max MUller, which the vernacular translations brought to me

Years afterwards, sitting by the fireside in my friend's library at Oxford, I
recounted to him, at his request, some of my vicissitudes of the eaiiy eighties.



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CRITICAL NOTES 303

my triab and triumphs — ^throwing such side-light as I could on the character
and capacity of the race whom he loved and labored for all his days; and then,
after the redtal had ended, he got behind my chair, rubbed my forehead, as if
to relieve its tension, and, stroking my hand fondly, asked: '^So you became
rabid about my poor LecUdres?*' "Yes," I replied, laughing, "quite mad, as
is my wont; even your sobering influence could not restrain me." At this he
leaned against my shoulder, whispering: "I wish I had more of your madness."
Who would not be mad, to be envied by so eminently sane a monomaniac as
MaxMUUer?>3

Twelve years were to elapse between the reception of Max MUUer's
first letter in the small Kathiawari village and the meeting of the two
friends at Oxford — ^twelve years of unremitting labor on both sides. Mr.
Malabari, true to his self-imposed mission, and as the proprietor and
editor of a powerful paper, the Indian Spectator, had stood up as an advo-
cate of the better understanding between the rulers and the ruled, and as
a defender of the rights of the poorer classes. Meanwhile he had devoted
himself to a most ungrateful task. Though belonging to a non-Hindu
commimity, he had lent the support of his experience, authority, and
talent to the advance^ient and progress of the social reform among the
Hindus. During that time the correspondence between the two friends
was active, and the Hibbert Lectures were not its only object. The ques-
tion of social reform, which had gradually engrossed Mr. Malabari's
attention, had found in Max MUUer a convinced supporter. It was with
a view to the solution of one of the most serious among our social prob-
lems that Mr. Malabari came to London in April, 1890, hoping to arouse
an active intei-est in the question of infant marriage and the status of
Hindu widows. It was a great pleasure for Max Miiller to make the
personal acquaintance of the energetic reformer, and between the two
men sprang up a close friendship, which lasted tiU Max Miiller's death.
Mr. Malabari paid his friend a visit, which visit is mentioned in the Life
and Letters,^^ and narrated in the "Recollections" as follows:

As a guest at Norham Gardens I was treated like a prince. My friend gave
me the best room in the house, usually reserved for royalty, as he tdld me; and,
what was a greater privilege, he left me as much as I liked to myself. He invited
none but intimate friends, and avoided talking shop, except when prompted or
provoked ....'*

all that no doubt on account of that extraordinary disease of shyness with

IS "Recollections," etc^ March, 1903, p. 338.

14 Ufe and Letters, VoL n, p. 257.

15 "RecoUectioiia," etc., April, 1903, p. 476.



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304 THE AMERICAN JOURNAL OP THEOLOGY

which Mr. Malabari is infected, comparing his kind hosts to "parent
birds tending a wounded fledgling that had strayed into their nest from
beyond the seas." For a whole week, the morning in the library, the
afternoon in the gardens, the two friends entered upon the most absorbing
subjects of conversation about Indian and European topics and men:
Bumouf, Renan, William Jones, Darmesteter, Ram Mohan Roy, Keshub
Chunder Sen, etc.

He [Max Mtiller] spoke in a reminiscent vein, but always with the freshness
and buoyancy of youth. His conversation was strikingly rich in the personal
element, and his manners had a poUsh and freedom from preoccupation peculiar
to himself. Very remarkable was the contrast between host and guest — the one
with a smooth, unclouded brow; at seventy, as spruce and sprightly in his get-up
as if ready to attend a wedding at a moment's notice; the other, turned grey and
wrinkled at forty, weary and woe-begone in appearance. '*

One day our reformer asked Max MUUer to reconsider the advisability
of his paying a cold-weather visit to India — ^that visit which the scholar
confessed to have longed for in his youth, and which had been a subject
alluded to and even discussed in some letters.

Your suggestion of a voyage to India [he wrote in 1890] has gratified me
very much, but I have come to the conclusion that, at my time of life, and with
so much important work still to finish, I must not think of it. It is a great self-
denial, doubly difficult, after what you told me, that some of my Indian friends
would have been willing to defray the expense.

At Oxford Mr. Malabari insisted, so that his dear old friend might see
modem India and study "the everyday life of his favorites." "No, no,"
he urged, "I have lived in an ideal India; don't drag me out of it. I
am too old for disillusionizing. " Was he right ? We shall see, from Mr.
Malabari's exact definition of the sort of love that Max Miiller had for
India.

It is said that he loved India not wisely, but too well. There is some force
in the allegation as it stands. But, closely examined, it will prove a superficial
view, an incomplete presentment of the fact. Those who charge my friend with
undue partiality toward India seem to forget that Max MUller was an idealist,
that he had his own India; or, to be accurate, he had reconstructed from the
ashes and charred bohes of the past an India of the RishiSy of the early Vedas,

in which he lived, moved, and had his being Max MUller was a poet, a

dieaiti-builder, as distinguished from the Oxford don, even as distinct from the
ingenious architect of theories of religion and language.''

«6 Loe. cU,, p. 477. «7 Ibid., p. 475.



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CRITICAL NOTES 305

Mr. Malabari remembers a discussion of his merits with the Catholic
bishop Meurin, at Bombay. The bishop maintained that Max MUller
was only a philologist, not a philosopher. To this Mr. Malabari replied
"that philology was the least interesting part of his life-work, the husk,
so to say, of the wheat within." To his mind, "Max Miilier was a
revvuer, one who made dead things live over again, clothing them in the
warm flesh-and-blood hues of life. " *® In a certain way Max Miilier was
right not to visit India, right also to continue to live in his own ideal Arya-
waria. He would have seen "how many of the ideals of life had been per-
verted, " and he would have been disillusioned. It requires less sympathy
for the population, a more selfish absorption in a scientific task, to over-
come the results of a personal contact with modem India.

In order to mitigate Mr. Malabari's disappointment, Max Miilier
suggested, as a token of India's affection, the idea of a testimonial for the
forthcoming jubilee of his doctorate, that would make him feel as if he had
seen India and the numerous friends he had there.

I sent him this token later, in the shape of an address of congratulations
most appropriately worded by Dr. Bhandarkar, and signed by many of the leading
scholars and not a few prominent patrons of scholarship in the country. We
had the address beautifully engraved and illuminated and placed in a silver
casket of peculiar Indian design and workmanship.'^

Max MtiUer was deeply moved, and accepted it as a token that he had
not worked in vain.***

During our reformer's stay in London it was his learned friend who intro-
duced him into the higher circles of English society, wherein he enlisted
firm supporters in favor of the great cause of the women of India of whom
he had constituted himself the champion. We find in the Life and Letters
many passages which refer to that common work of charity. Let 11s open
the "Recollections:"

What drew me most to Max MUller was his chivalrous regard for the weak
and the oppressed. This was perhaps best exemplified in the course of our
crusade against infant marriage and enforced widowhood. He gave me much of
his time to solving the problem of state intervention, consulting eminent lawyers
and jurists, drawing freely upon his unrivaled knowledge of ancient and modem
Indian literature. He wrote again and again at considerable length, explaining
the scriptural, the legal, and the political bearings of the question. He discovered
the ingenious theory of tort, holding the parents responsible in cases when the
parties to an infant marriage came to suffer. He visited and wrote to a number

«« Ibid^ p. 475. ^9 Ibid,, p. 479.

•« Life and Letters, Vol. II, p. 316.



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3o6 THE AMERICAN JOURNAL OP THEOLOGY

of influential people, commending our cause to some, encouraging others already
interested in it, and he was largely instrumental in getting up the drawing-room
meeting at Lady Jeune's which led to the passing of the Age of Consent
Bill. Max Midler stood up at the meeting as our staunchest ally, gallantly
supported by the Countess of Jersey and Sir Charies Aitchinson."'

We must quote one, and the last, passage from the "Recollections."
Max Miiller had valiantly defended Mr. Malabari during his great contest
with the opposition of the brahmanical orthodox party — a hard and pain-
ful contest, the contest of the individual against the caste. Besides, was
he not an outsider, a Parsi ? And it is well known that the Hindus do
not like being lectured by outsiders. " K their dirty linen had to be washed
at all, they wished to have it washed by their own washerwomen I "■» And
it is a fact also that, through his personal influence and assisted by friends,
Mr. Malabari at last carried the bill (''Age of Consent Act") which fixes
the age of freedom to marry at eighteen for the men, at twelve for the
girls (1891). Max Miiller simply adds: "It is highly creditable to him
that he declined all rewards and honors offered to him at the end of his
successful campaign. "'3

Mr. Malabari enlightens us on the sense of that phrase, and his expla-
nation does equal honor to the two friends. It throws a vivid light on
the personality of both. Max Miiller was among the generous patrons
who wished to present him with a purse, about four thousand poimds,
in order to pay the expenses of his social reform campaign.

When sounded, I said I would gratefully accept the gift if allowed to spend
it on the cause itself, say the foimding of a central widow's home in India and a
working committee to bring about the improvement in some of our social cus-
toms. But my friends wished me to accept the purse for personal use, as, for
obvious political reasons, they could not identify themselves too closely with an
active propaganda. For very much the same reasons I declined the offer with
thanks.'^

And why did the generous Parsi decline the honor ?

My political friends appreciated this, though some of them thought I was
carrying my squeamishness too far. Max Miiller, it seems, felt aggrieved.
Litde did the dear old idealist see that in India, the land of ideal charity, peoj^
generally start with uncharity in judging what they do not know or cannot
understand.

•> Loc, cU., pp. 480, 481.

" CosmopcHs, September, 1898, p. 627.

>s Ibid,, p. 6a8.

M^RecoUectioiis," etc., April, 1903, p. 481.



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CRITICAL NOTES 307

The movement for a purse was dropped — ^happily, says the noble reformer;
but his kind friend voted him an address of welcome and congratulations.
He drew it up himself, with the help of an ex-viceroy and two ex-governors,
and had it signed by many of the notable leaders of society. The address
was sent to Mr. Malabari when he was on the continent. It b treasured
among the most precious possessions of the reformer, ''not so much for
its intrinsic value — though it is very high — ^but as the gift of a loyal and
loving friend, a wise and faithful guide, and a valiant supporter.*^

From the high religious synthesis of the Hibberi Leciures we have
come to the particulars of the intercourse of two men who, it seems, have
realized that fusion between the East and the West for which some among
the higher classes are fervently longing. In like manner Max MUUer's
influence has asserted itself in India by infusing a new life into Hindu
society and religion, and captivating the friendship and admiration of
the best minds of the country.

Mr. Malabari was thus a faithful interpreter of the general feeling
when, on Max Miiller's demise (the writer was then his guest at Mah-
ableshwar in the Ghits), he sent a wire to Mrs. Max Mtiller telling her
that "all India mourned with herl"«^

MiXE. D. Memant
Paxis, Fkamcz



MARTIN LUTHER'S ATTITUDE TOWARD THE PRINCIPLE
OF LIBERTY OF CONSCIENCE

The principle of liberty of conscience was given the foremost place in
Luther's programme of reforms after the Leipzig Disputation Quly, 1519).
But when a few years later the reformer decided that the new chiuch
should be imited with the state, he did not hesitate to call upon the secular
arm to come to the aid of the church in the attempt to suppress heresy.
In later years he reaccepted the view which he had held before he assumed
the r6k of a reformer — that capital punishment is to be inflicted on heretics.'

If the testimony of Leo X, as stated in the bull Exsurge Domine
(June 15, 1520), may be relied upon, Luther held at that time the danmabk
heresy that ''to bum heretics is against the will of the Spuit." The famous
book, To the Christian Nobles, which he wrote in Jime, 1520, is an eloquent

>s Ibid., p. 483.

•^Life and Letters, Vol. II, p. 431.

> Of. Theoiogischer Jahresbericht, V6L XXm, p. 515.



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3o8 THE AMERICAN JOURNAL OP THEOLOGY

plea for religious liberty. The reformer shows that every Christian is a
member of a spiritual priesthood, and that there can be no earthly authority,
either ecclesiastical or secular, to rule over the Christian conscience. In
the book 0/ the New Bull and Falsehood of Eck Luther refutes the insinua-
tion of his opponent that his disapproval of the burning of heretics was due
to his own love of life, since he realized hb tenets to be heretical. ''The
Papists in Rome," he observes, "when they find themselves unable to resist
the truth, slaughter the people and by killing solve all arguments.'"

It was after the Diet of Worms, during Luther's sojourn at the Wartburg
(April, iS2i-March, 1522), that he decided on a union of the new church
with the state. At that time Andrew Carlstadt, his colleague, introduced
the first actual reforms in Wittenberg, abolishing mass and administering
the Lord's Supper in both kinds to the congregation. Luther realized that
Carlstadt's coiu-se was sure to lead to divisions within the Saxon church.
After some hesitation he resolved that a new church should be organized
only when the civil government was ready to make the acceptance of
the new creed compulsory for the whole land. In other words, to maintain
the (nominal) imity of the church, the task of ecclesiastical reformation was
to be taken out of the people's hands and turned over to the princes and
secular rulers, to whom, it must be said, the acceptance of the Reformation
brought great material advantages.

Luther's deviation from the principle of liberty of conscience is dis-
tinctly traceable. In January, 1522, he wrote a book on the relation of the
state to the Christian church, and chose for it the title, A True AdmoniHon
to All Christians to Abstain from Uproar and Sedition, There is indication,
he says, in the introduction, that there are those who would slay or drive
away the priests, "xmless they promise thorough reformation." But
presently he corrects himself, admitting that he knows there is no danger of
such an outbreak. He then proceeds to show that a reformation of the
church should take place only with the sanction of the civil rulers. The
secular authorities, he says, should take this matter into their hands,
"every prince in his own land." "But," he complains, "they fail to do



Online LibraryUniversity of Chicago. Divinity SchoolThe American journal of theology → online text (page 37 of 84)